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Innovating products for a COVID-19 marketplace

Swatches | August 1, 2020 | By:

The ELY side blind from BAT Group is designed to help restaurants and other hospitality venues optimize indoor and outdoor spaces safely. Photo: BAT Group.

The word pivot will go down as an industry buzzword for 2020, but in sailing, the equivalent term is tack or jibe. Dimension-Polyant (DP), a leader in the production of technical sailcloth, has “tacked” to meet the urgent demands of the PPE market, with a number of manufacturers tapping the company to provide films and fabrics for face shields and gowns. Maine-based Flowfold® approached DP in early March and other customers followed, including G-Form, Space-X, Sail Works and UK Sailmakers. As of late May, more than 300,000 units had been produced and shipped to the frontline medical community. “Our extremely lightweight fabrics have been used in protective garments, aprons and patient transfer sheets,” says Taylor North, DP head of technical fabrics. “We can also apply specialized coatings to make them liquid repellent, slippery or soft.” Dimension-Polyant is owned by Sioen Industries of Belgium.

Outdoor gear manufacturer Flowfold is using clear film from Dimension-Polyant to manufacture face shields. Photo: Flowfold.

With public and commercial spaces reopening, Italy-based BAT Group has introduced ELY, a side blind for outdoor use that meets the needs of restaurants, hotels and other venues to increase spaces that can be used by customers safely. The blind can be produced with different colors and fabrics to create specific areas or provide privacy. Simple to install, the blind features a linear and compact structure with a new symmetrical cassette and support profile. The handle can be installed frontally or laterally, while a wheel makes handling simple and safe. Up to four awnings can be connected to a central pole to divide a space into four areas.

Innovatec GmbH has invested in two new production lines for meltblown nonwovens with support from Germany’s recently launched “Nonwoven Production” funding program. Already a large producer of nonwovens, the North Rhine-Westphalian company intends to produce an additional 1,500 tons of nonwoven per year with the new lines, one of which is from Oerlikon Nonwoven. The additional volume will enable the production of more than 1.5 billion protective masks. 

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